here we are! The provisional fixtures for next season are attached. Due to
the relative lateness of being able to send these out, compared to normal
years, can I ask for any urgent problems to be communicated to me no later
than next Wednesday 11th August so that the fixtures can become official.
note on the methodology. There are nine teams each in the Woodhouse Cup and
IM Brown and six in the Silver Rook. This means that the top two divisions
play a ten round league with a bye and the Silver Rook is on a double round
structure; hence an extra weekend. Each team was assigned a position in the
relevant Berger table at random, with the exception of those clubs that
needed their teams at home together or alternately home/away. Therefore the
pairing of York A and Sheffield in the final round is completely
coincidental, although it will likely please both teams.
goes without saying that I can't predict what the situation will be in
Summer 2022 so the structure for future seasons will be decided at the 2022
AGM, although I feel strongly that the top two teams in each division should
be entitled to promotion, as per the league rules.
administrative point. In the middle of everything else that has been going
on the ECF have changed from three digit gradings to four digit ratings.
Therefore the "20 point tolerance" specified in Rule A16 shall be
adjusted to 150 points (a suggestion from Steve Mann) although we might not
be able to formalise this until 2022. Hopefully the focus on this season
will be restarting over the board chess and not rule technicalities.
takes me on to my final point. During the consultation process it has been
noticeable that there is a stark difference between those clubs who are
restarting local activities with a view to attracting new players, and
those that aren't. While I appreciate that some clubs have different
individual circumstances and some players may still wish to shield, at
Harrogate a couple of weeks ago I was able to run an informal rapidplay
tournament where roughly a third of entrants had joined the club post
lockdown. Some clubs are doing even better so surely this shouldn't be
impossible for every club to replicate.